WASHINGTON – Federal regulators Thursday filed insider-trading charges against six people they say worked for an expert-networking firm and passed on confidential corporate information to investors.

Expert networks connect analysts and experts with investors seeking information. They are playing a growing role on Wall Street.

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the civil charges against the six Thursday, accusing them of passing tips to hedge funds and other investors that enabled them to make about $6 million in illegal profits.

They had previously been named in criminal cases brought by federal prosecutors, as part of what authorities say is the biggest hedge fund insider-trading case in history.

The SEC said four of the six were employees of technology companies who moonlighted as consultants and exploited their access to confidential information about Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Apple Inc., Dell Inc. and other companies.

The six were consultants or employees of Primary Global Research, based in Mountain View, Calif., which connects experts and consultants with investors seeking information in the technology, health care and other industries.

Named by the SEC were Mark Anthony Longoria, Daniel DeVore, Winifred Jiau, Walter Shimoon, Bob Nguyen and James Fleishman.